Check out Diane Ravitch’s succinct advice to Arne Duncan, the soon-to-be Secretary of Education, in yesterday’s Washington Post, recommending that he scrap NCLB. Here is an excerpt:
“The law's remedies don't work. The law's sanctions don't work. The goal of 100 percent proficiency by 2014 is ludicrous; no nation or state has ever reached it. Achievement gains have been meager. Test scores improved more on federal tests in the five years preceding NCLB than in the years since it was implemented. What
On the other hand, Margaret Spellings, current Secretary of Education and a big supporter of NCLB, writes
“Congratulations. I don't want to hurt you, but I think you're a great choice. You're the right guy at the right time. I look forward to working with you and know you to be compatible, tough-minded and someone who does what's right on behalf of kids. You'll need those characteristics as secretary.”
Check out either of the above pages for links to advice from The Critic, The Early Education Advocate, The University Chancellor, The Student, The Teacher, The Astronomer, The Bioethicist, The School Superintendent, The Author, and The Thinker (as the Post describes them.)
Unfortunately, no one mentions the importance of class size. But then they also didn’t bother to ask any parent.
Even though on the very same day, Jay Mathews of the Post had a column, saying that sometimes, parents actually have good ideas when it comes to our children’s schools.
Clearly we are swimming against the tide.
If you'd like to know what some real-life parents from NYC and Chicago would recommend, check out the Common-sense reforms for our schools, from Class Size Matters and Parents United for Responsible Education.